Why everyone should experience Panther Breakaway

Ever since my initial enrollment to Georgia State I’d heard all about an alternative trip. I’d keep hearing “alternative break” but didn’t know what it was.

I later learned an alternative break trip is when you spend either your winter or spring break doing a volunteer service project.

After a strenuous and expensive semester, the last thing I’d want to do is anything related to working, especially anything that costs money! So my mind was made up, and I just knew an alternative break was out of the question.

But it wasn’t until I saw the impact it had on some of my close friends that it made me reconsider Panther Breakaway. My decision to participate in the trip was easily one of the best choices I’ve ever made and I encourage everyone to try it out.

First, before you fill out an application, you should gather as much information about the organization as possible; your first stop should be an info session or stop by the tables in plaza. You’ll encounter site leaders (the leaders of the trip) and meet other potential participants.

Furthermore, you’ll learn about the trip themes and topics so you can see which ones spark your interest. Every year the organization grows in many ways and one of those ways is the trips’ themes; the coordinators of the organization are working towards having trips that based off students’ majors so you’ll really have a benefit.

As I previously stated, these trips are alternative, meaning instead of taking your usual break from school, you’ll actually be participating on the trip, and yes, the trips do cost money, but that’s not a reason to dismiss this opportunity. Before any of you get discouraged, let me inform you of some of the perks.

The trip cost is $300 which covers your housing, transportation, food and events or adventures you’ll do while on the trip. The only extra funds you’ll need will be for souvenirs and any extra food you want to purchase. If you aren’t working and know that you won’t have the money to apply, there are two scholarship opportunities. All trips are in different cities and states so you are not limited to only Atlanta.

The trips are in New Orleans, Memphis and Orlando—just to name a few. Also, you will be volunteering so those hours could potentially count toward a certain class if you need the credit or another organization. There are numerous reasons as to why PB is a great opportunity for anyone, but those are just a few.

So who is eligible for Panther Breakaway trips?

Everyone—students, faculty and staff—is encouraged to apply because they all serve a different role. The site leaders will be students, your peers, but every trip is required to have a staff leader. If this is your first major trip and you’re concerned about traveling with a group of your peers, not to worry. Your site leaders have been trained for the trip, and again if you need a greater since of security there will be a faculty or staff member a part of the trip for support.

I think everyone should attend an info session to find out if this is something you would be interested in. Don’t let anything stop you from applying if you think this is really something you want to do; the coordinators are willing to work with you and you don’t want to have any regrets. Reserve your spot soon because spots are filling up fast!